AGL to start building of Grid-Scale Battery at Former Liddell Coal-Fired Power Plant Site

    Approval Granted for 500-Megawatt Energy Storage Facility at Former Liddell Coal-Fired Power Plant Site

AGL Energy announced on Tuesday that it has given the green light for the construction of a 500-megawatt energy storage facility at the location of the decommissioned Liddell coal-fired power plant in the Hunter region of New South Wales. The two-hour duration, grid-scale battery project comes with a construction cost of approximately $750 million, which will be financed from the company's balance sheet.

AGL, being the largest electricity generator in a system historically dependent on coal, is also the leading greenhouse gas emitter in the country. However, the company is committed to shuttering its final coal-fired plant by 2035.

AGL CEO Damien Nicks has stated that the Liddell battery will play a crucial role in reaching an interim goal of installing approximately five gigawatts of new renewable energy and firming capacity by 2030.

"The final investment decision on the Liddell battery project marks another significant milestone in AGL’s decarbonization pathway and the transition of its energy portfolio," stated AGL CEO Damien Nicks.

Expected to be operational in 2026, the Liddell battery will contribute to AGL's battery assets, which already include the 250MW Torrens Island battery in South Australia and the soon-to-be-launched 50MW Broken Hill battery.

In New South Wales, the large battery will play a crucial role in ensuring a stable power supply as coal-fired power stations retire, supporting the state government's emissions reduction target of 70% by 2035. The project will receive support from a $35 million grant from the Australian Renewable Energy Agency (Arena) and a long-term energy service agreement with the NSW government.

Construction is set to commence in early 2024, with global energy storage and renewables firm Fluence chosen as the preferred provider for engineering, procurement, and construction.

Liddell, Australia's oldest coal-fired power station, previously supplied electricity to over one million homes. Over 90% of the plant's materials are anticipated to be recycled during the demolition process, including a substantial 70,000 tonnes of steel—exceeding the total weight of steel used in the Sydney Harbour Bridge.

The demolition phase is slated to start in 2024 and is expected to span approximately two years.